Auchenstroan Coloured Ryelands
We are Adrian and Nicole Doyle and this is our web site where we show our life on our small holding and showcase the products that we sell.
Stop Press: We are running a series of felted fleece rug workshops during the summer months, dates, last date available Sat 22nd Oct. For more information and to book, please click here: I also offer private sessions, please get in touch for more details.
We are delighted to offer a range of handmade felted fleece rugs, also known as “sheep-friendly sheepskin rugs” and “vegetarian sheepskin rugs”. These are made from the wool (not the sheepskin) from a both our own sheep and those of neighbouring farms. No animal is harmed in the process. You can buy them from our shop. Please note, due to the popularity of the rugs, we have struggled to keep up with demand so, if you find the shop empty, just read the shop updates to find out when new rugs will be added.
We also have copies of Adrian’s books “This Smallholding Life” (about the balance between time, money and work on a modern smallholding ) and “Dogs Talk” (dogs talk about their lives and what made things better for them) available in our shop (paperback – UK only) or via Amazon (paperback and ebook).
We have recently added sheep pictures, framed or mounted prints to our shop. These are painted by Matty Lamb (Nicole’s brother). They feature our sheep going about their business with the Galloway Hills as their backdrop.
Latest Stories from Auchenstroan
Today’s blog story is to tell you about my rug-making teaching adventures over the summer and about the new downloadable instructions I’ve created on how to make felted fleece rugs. I’ve been thinking about running rug-making workshops here on our smallholding for a few years now. Then Covid happened and my plans went on hold. […]
The harvest rush has been on in the last week. We already had collected what was left of the beetroot (see beetroot bother), but other fruit and veg were ready and needed picked before the pesky slugs had those too. The only things that seem to be safe are the tomatoes (polytunnel too dry for […]
Carrying on from last week’s story, Moving the Hens, we have both been busy installing and preparing the new area for the chicken coops. We call this ‘Hen Central’ because it’s where they eat, drink, sleep and lay their eggs. The big jobs this week were to install two new fences and put up a […]
This week we have been very busy moving the hen coops to a new part of the orchard. This has been prompted by several things, but mainly it is down to Clippy. Clippy (the flock matriarch) has always been on the feral side. She prefers to lay her eggs in a clump of grass rather […]
As we move into September, our thoughts turn to harvesting. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be collecting apples, tomatoes, carrots, cabbage and onions. We already have a nice crop of garlic drying in the kitchen. Normally, we leave the root crops, mainly turnip (swede outside Scotland) and beetroot in the ground and harvest them […]
Two weeks ago I wrote about how we’d started Elliot’s “hen training“. Well it’s still going on, we’re taking things slowly because while Elliot is a natural livestock guardian and he’s great around the sheep, we weren’t sure how he’d behave around the hens. Being a rescue dog it’s possible he’s had to scavenge small […]
If there’s one thing we have come to realise about our sheep over the years, it’s that they like their shelters. Their favourite is one we knocked up just after we moved here. It kind of resembles a low rise mass built bungalow and so has been nicknamed Brookside, after an old tv soap opera. […]
Now that the sheep have accepted Elliot and he can join us off-lead in amongst them, we have turned our attention to teaching him how to be around our hens. The hens wander around freely in the orchard and up until now Elliot’s not been allowed into the orchard because of this. The orchard is […]
I often get asked how I get my white rugs so clean so I thought it might be helpful to all you woolly crafters out there, if I shared my hints and tips with you. Most of the rugs I make come from Scotch Mule fleeces. The Scotch Mule is traditionally creamy-white in colour with […]
Our chicks have had a purpose built predator proof run from when they were eggs. After they hatched, they had a couple of days to find their feet before being let out into the wider world. Each night, they returned in the early evening, had a quick meal of corn, and turned in for the […]
“Spending time with the sheep” – A week in my life – by Elliot, Anatolian Shepherd rescue dog from Turkey
Monday 18th July I had a brilliant day today, this morning I was allowed off lead in amongst the sheep for the first time! It was great to be able to walk down the hill with my pals free and easy without the lead getting in the way. The sheep were walking to the wooden […]
The recent summer weather has been welcome for many reasons and, in particular, it has benefitted the hens. Unlike many birds, hens do not have waterproof feathers so when it rains, they prefer to stay under shelter. For young, keen to explore, bubbling with energy little chicks, that’s like being stuck in playpen with no […]
If you would like to send us a review, please email us your comments or send them via our contact page, many thanks.
Review for felted fleece rug – Swaledale Mule
5/5 – stunning
Posted by Ann Garbett on 10th March 2022
“The rug arrived and is stunning. Thank you for your beautiful, ethical craft”
Review for sheep friendly rugs
5/5 – thank you!
Posted by Nate Holbrook on 7th October 2021
Review for sheep friendly rug
5/5 – thank you!
Posted by Susie Carter on 14th May 2021
Review for sheep friendly rugs
5/5 – beautiful!
Posted by Julie Eckstrom on 25th February 2021
They are absolutely beautiful — I keep finding more and more depth in them every time I look at them. And they feel incredible, especially on cold toes in the morning! Thank you so much for these treasures!
Review for felted fleece rug
5/5 – thank you
Posted by Jess Dobkin on 3rd February 2021
Thanks again and again to you and your sheep. This rug is such a special gift for a special occasion that will be treasured for a very long, long time
Review for felted fleece rug – soft cream curls
5/5 – thank you
Posted by Julie McCoy on 16th September 2020
Thank you for my beautiful rug, I am absolutely delighted with it!! It goes perfectly in my room and is so lovely and soft…